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Love-Hate BPD Cycle With Boyfriend

L

Liana

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
UK
Hey you guys

I really, really need to feel understood. I hate myself for having the thoughts I'm about to detail in this letter.

I've been in a relationship for 2 years with this AMAZING guy. This guy is everything I want on paper: he's funny, good looking, social, talented, artistic, intelligent, my parents and friends love him, etc. He's been with me through a lot and has helped me time and time again in dealing with my (diagnosed) BPD, OCD, and sexual trauma from a previous partner. In our relationship, the problem IS NOT him. He has been nothing but accommodating, loving, perfect.

However, I can't seem to just be able to be grateful for how great he is or value him as I should. Since last year, I've started knit-picking things he does often (such as mannerisms every person singularly has) and finding them annoying, finding him less attractive, thinking he's not driven enough for me, not liking his facial hair, etc. I started doubting more and more often whether or not I still loved him because I find myself going from loving him to finding him very annoying at times, in a matter of hours or days.

A) More about when and why I am in my "hate" phase towards him:

When he's too into me, too clingy, too insecure, too loving, tries to initiate sex or kissing too much, texts me too much, or asks to see me too much, instead of being happy, I back off because he annoys me.

I have extremely high standards for myself; I was raised that way. So even during quarantine, I work my butt off and really work to get those opportunities. I establish a strict routine for myself, workout, focus on clean eating, tidy my space, run a bunch of errands, etc. On his end, my boyfriend goes to sleep at like 3 AM, eats like shit, doesn't groom himself, doesn't clean his room, doesn't drive, and always wears the same smelly clothes. He has a very laid-back, unstressed mentality, which isn't problematic in itself but in comparison to how I function (high-stress and high-workload all the time), it is for me. As for his "drive", he does work hard, but not to the extent I do, and he lives in a tiny dirty apartment with no windows with his mom and has been, what seems like depressed, every winter each year. It's not his fault that he's not rich (I'm not either) and lives where he does or that quarantine is making him more depressed, but seeing him be lazy and not correspond to the idea of what my "ideal" partner would be like life-situation-wise just turns me off. And don't get me wrong; I've been diagnosed with depression several times in the past and know how hard it is to find motivation, but being in a relationship with someone who has depressive tendencies (just like my boyfriend being in a relationship with me who has BPD and OCD) has its challenges.

With friends, I have no problem acting like the mom and taking care of them because attraction isn't a big factor. With a partner, however, I just can't seem to be able to take care of my partner AND still be attracted to them. I feel so bad that I cannot take care of him like he took care of me mentally with my BPD, OCD, and sexual assault trauma in the past two years. Instead of being patient and waiting for him to get better / find his motivation again, I just add more stress onto him and make him doubt himself when I'm distant. I hate myself for it.

I know everything I've written sounds really conceited. I don't think I'm better than him (it's definitely more the other way around lol), but seeing him in a depressed-lazy-quarantine mode isn't helping me stabilize my love-hate relationship pattern with him. And I'm very well aware that it's not good that my expectations towards his work/grooming life are that high, but I don't know how to bring them down. I'm also aware that I'm not in a good place to critique his negative qualities as someone who has so many herself. I just need to vent, so please keep in mind that I know I'm far from being a saint.

B) More about when and why I am in my "love" phase towards him:

In the past, because I'm brutally honest, he'll know when I'm fed up with him or when I'm in my "hate" cycle. I tell him that it has NOTHING to do with him (even if sometimes in my head I want him to change certain things about himself) and tell him that I need space to deal with my own flaws. When that happens, obviously he gets really sad and doesn't feel like hanging out with me anymore. This might be a BPD thing, a toxic-shitty-person thing, or a weird "people like challenges and get turned on by them" thing, but when he pulls back, I always find myself more inclined to seduce him, be a better partner, find him more attractive, etc.
........................................................................

I'M SO TOXIC! And I don't know how to fix it. Therapy doesn't really help me with managing my expectations and asking less of others. I know that the main thing that bugs me is when he doesn't have his own thing going on, and recently he has been super busy with school (we're both in school), so that's been helping, but I still don't know how to regulate my love-hate relational pattern.

Here's the thing: I love this man. He's a best friend, a lover, an adventure partner, and a travel partner and I don't see my life without him. Yes, I'm less attracted to him right now and he bugs me sometimes, but I've thought about it and haven't been attracted to anyone else besides 2 random celebrities. Breaking up isn't the option, and whenever I think about breaking up, both because I fear being abandoned more than anything / because I fear losing HIM specifically, I have a pit in my stomach and start to feel sick. Plus, I don't see him only as a friend. I wouldn't be able to see him with someone else. I know for a fact I see him as a boyfriend.

I just really need tips and need to feel like someone in this world understands me. I have a sexologist and therapist to become a better human being and get my shit together, but feeling understood is the one thing I really need right now. I keep too much stuff inside and it's driving me nuts.

Does anyone else with BPD on here also have very different lifestyles and needs than their partner's? What do you do about it? How do you deal with finding balance in attraction/personal space/balance?
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,877
Location
USA
Do you realize you said :
In our relationship, the problem IS NOT him. He has been nothing but accommodating, loving, perfect
And then you made a long list of things about him that are far from accommodating, loving and perfect? How is the problem not him and why are you blaming yourself?
 
L

Liana

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
UK
Do you realize you said :


And then you made a long list of things about him that are far from accommodating, loving and perfect? How is the problem not him and why are you blaming yourself?
Thanks for that, wow.

I do think he could improve some things and that even if he were with someone who wasn't BPD, OCD, or as driven as I was, the new partner would find the things I find problematic (like his lack of drive and organization, and his often-iffy hygiene) to be problematic, too.

Thing is, I know my flaws and his very well, and mine are much more present and uncontrolled than his. He can be arrogant, cocky, and lack maturity, poise, and professionalism at times, but these flaws don't show up very often. And even if they don't show up often, I still find a way to get stuck on them. I even get bummed by things that aren't even flawed that a Jane Doe girl who has a crush on him could love, like his mustache, which is so stupid of me!

As for my flaws, their nature is more intense, and even then, my boyfriend deals with those flaws very well. I'm impatient, moody, sometimes manipulative, and make snarky comments directed where I know they can hurt when I'm in a bad mood or when he doesn't act like I wish my "ideal partner" would. Even if this way of acting is horrible, my boyfriend has never asked me to change or implied he wished I were different like I do, under my breath, when he lets his flaws show through. He doesn't make me feel bad for having those flaws and he deals well with any emotional excess without taking things too personally.

I just don't know how to lower my expectations and be a more tolerant partner / more grateful partner for what I already have.
 
SunnyDaze

SunnyDaze

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I'm sorry,I guess I don't understand why you feel you need to lower your expectations. i don't know too many people that would be ok with someone that doesn't groom and wears smelly clothes and all the other things you have said.

You are making it sound like there's something "wrong" with having expectations. You're beating yourself up because you are not more tolerant of things you're not ok with.

I'm sorry I have not been helpful. Hopefully someone will come along that can understand and give tips.

Hugs
 
L

Liana

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
UK
I'm sorry,I guess I don't understand why you feel you need to lower your expectations. i don't know too many people that would be ok with someone that doesn't groom and wears smelly clothes and all the other things you have said.

You are making it sound like there's something "wrong" with having expectations. You're beating yourself up because you are not more tolerant of things you're not ok with.

I'm sorry I have not been helpful. Hopefully someone will come along that can understand and give tips.

Hugs
You were actually massively helpful. Thank you so so so much, SunnyDaze
 
EarthChild

EarthChild

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Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
133
Location
Cape Town South Africa
I have insecure relationship too. In the past with my ex boyfriend he was perfect guy for me and yet I didn't appreciate him enough. I pushed him away three times and took him back twice. I hated myself for playing with his feelings - and he was so easygoing and peaceful he never argued with me - but I myself was just recently diagnosed with mental illness at the time and felt unlovable

Now with my husband. He is a totally different guy to my ex - he is argumentative and gets upset easily. It was a toxic love/hate relationship - we'd be really close and bonding intimately - then we'd be arguing and screaming at each other and threatening divorce. Over and over and over again through eight years. I'd be so in love, and then I'd call him a bastard. He has epilepsy and it affects his mental health too. But I put up with it all these years.

Now after eight years of it I've given up and am planning to ask for divorce after he comes out of hospital where he is now after a psychotic episode. I can't deal with instability because I'm unstable myself and we are literally scared of each other. It's toxic beyond belief.

But he's got such lovely heart under it - that's why I love him still. But I got to be fair to myself and leave before I have yet another breakdown.

Sometimes it just doesn't work out...

but it doesn't mean people with bpd can't have relationships. It is possible for one to find the right guy/girl but it's better to find one who's more stable emotionally as well as being patient and understanding
 
L

Liana

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
UK
I have insecure relationship too. In the past with my ex boyfriend he was perfect guy for me and yet I didn't appreciate him enough. I pushed him away three times and took him back twice. I hated myself for playing with his feelings - and he was so easygoing and peaceful he never argued with me - but I myself was just recently diagnosed with mental illness at the time and felt unlovable

Now with my husband. He is a totally different guy to my ex - he is argumentative and gets upset easily. It was a toxic love/hate relationship - we'd be really close and bonding intimately - then we'd be arguing and screaming at each other and threatening divorce. Over and over and over again through eight years. I'd be so in love, and then I'd call him a bastard. He has epilepsy and it affects his mental health too. But I put up with it all these years.

Now after eight years of it I've given up and am planning to ask for divorce after he comes out of hospital where he is now after a psychotic episode. I can't deal with instability because I'm unstable myself and we are literally scared of each other. It's toxic beyond belief.

But he's got such lovely heart under it - that's why I love him still. But I got to be fair to myself and leave before I have yet another breakdown.

Sometimes it just doesn't work out...

but it doesn't mean people with bpd can't have relationships. It is possible for one to find the right guy/girl but it's better to find one who's more stable emotionally as well as being patient and understanding
Hi EarthChild! I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm still young and my relationship is still new of 2 years; I can't imagine how scary it must feel to prepare to divorce a partner of 8 years whom you still love. I am proud of you for knowing your boundaries and wanting a better relationship for yourself. I think it's brilliant and healthy that you've recognized your mistakes but that you also know what you want and don't want in a relationship. You deserve a happy relationship!

When is your husband getting out of the hospital? Please feel free to reply to this message if you need any support on that day when you tell him you want a divorce.

Also, thanks for your advice. It really made me feel better to hear someone else say that they, too, played with a GREAT person's feelings in a relationship and didn't know how to stop the toxic cycle they were perpetrating. Not that treating our patterns the way I am / the way you treated your last partner is acceptable, though, as we've both recognized. I feel less alone, now, and feeling like I'm allowed to move on from my guilt to fix my patterns feels great. Thank you so much.
 
EarthChild

EarthChild

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Sep 12, 2020
Messages
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Location
Cape Town South Africa
It's a pleasure Liana, thank you too for your lovely message 😊 I'm glad my words could help you!
 
M

MYTIMEHASCOME

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Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
710
Hello

I have been told I have unrealistic expectations and I hold myself and others to standards that are ridiculously high with my BPD though I’m not forgiving at all I tell myself that people are human but I expect from others what I would do myself (this isn’t romantic just in life in general) the thing is people aren’t going to comply to my standards just because I feel they should people are human beings and we are all different. The reason I mention this is because I feel and know you’re probably expecting too much of yourself and him not necessarily on all aspects like the smelly clothes etc but in general. I feel if this annoys you with regards to him your standards won’t drop and whilst his may raise a bit they’ll never match yours or they will for a bit but then go back you even said he’s laid back that’s his personality type so I think it’s going to keep annoying you I don’t know how to fix it but you sound like me with regards to high standards that you hold yourself to and your boyfriend to although with me it’s everyone.

I hope you’re happy whatever you decide, sorry I don’t have any specific advice on how to fix it 😔although some of the stuff you listed that annoys you I feel is just general relationship stuff that annoys everyone sometimes It might just be because of your BPD it’s more prevalent in your thoughts and therefore more of an issue. This is positive though as it may be there’s only a few things to fix that would make a massive difference, although it’s hard to critique people without upsetting them but that’s another challenge! Hope you find happiness 🌈🤗❤
 
G

Girl interupted

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Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
2,179
As BPD we can't seem to let ourselves just be happy with what is. I believe it's part of the self-sabotaging complex that is part of the disorder. The whole burn the whole house down thing in response to minor problems. It ties in with the black and white thinking that is almost a compulsion with BPD -- and that malaise can poison our thinking and our relationships.

I compare it to a person with OCD. If they see something that bothers them, they won't get any relief until they act upon it. BPD isn't much different.

The trick is determining what is a real concern versus just the need to self-combust. Sometimes writing down a pro and cons list can help identify and help with decision making.

Other times physical distance, like going out for a walk when you really want to fight, can help clear your head.

But these are things you need to work on in therapy. Identifying triggers and creating a healthy response to them.

Look into Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. It outlines some tools that will help you with this type of thing. The program completely changed my life.
 
G

Girl interupted

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Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
2,179
P.S. High standards are our way of having control when it feels like we don't have any. I'm the same way. You wind up being more punitive on yourself than you are of others. And that's not healthy for your happiness or your mental health. It's a hard one to break though. I'm still working at it.
 
L

Liana

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
UK
Hello

I have been told I have unrealistic expectations and I hold myself and others to standards that are ridiculously high with my BPD though I’m not forgiving at all I tell myself that people are human but I expect from others what I would do myself (this isn’t romantic just in life in general) the thing is people aren’t going to comply to my standards just because I feel they should people are human beings and we are all different. The reason I mention this is because I feel and know you’re probably expecting too much of yourself and him not necessarily on all aspects like the smelly clothes etc but in general. I feel if this annoys you with regards to him your standards won’t drop and whilst his may raise a bit they’ll never match yours or they will for a bit but then go back you even said he’s laid back that’s his personality type so I think it’s going to keep annoying you I don’t know how to fix it but you sound like me with regards to high standards that you hold yourself to and your boyfriend to although with me it’s everyone.

I hope you’re happy whatever you decide, sorry I don’t have any specific advice on how to fix it 😔although some of the stuff you listed that annoys you I feel is just general relationship stuff that annoys everyone sometimes It might just be because of your BPD it’s more prevalent in your thoughts and therefore more of an issue. This is positive though as it may be there’s only a few things to fix that would make a massive difference, although it’s hard to critique people without upsetting them but that’s another challenge! Hope you find happiness 🌈🤗❤
This helped A LOT with making me feel understood. I can't help but stress how amazing it feels to know I'm not crazy for being this way and to know others also struggle with having expectations that are too high for others and themselves. Thank you so much for your help, you made my day. I hope both of us learn to manage our expectations and find a middle ground between knowing what behaviors we cannot accept from others when it is clearly negative but also what behaviors are unrealistic for our loved ones to constantly have.
 
L

Liana

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
UK
As BPD we can't seem to let ourselves just be happy with what is. I believe it's part of the self-sabotaging complex that is part of the disorder. The whole burn the whole house down thing in response to minor problems. It ties in with the black and white thinking that is almost a compulsion with BPD -- and that malaise can poison our thinking and our relationships.

I compare it to a person with OCD. If they see something that bothers them, they won't get any relief until they act upon it. BPD isn't much different.

The trick is determining what is a real concern versus just the need to self-combust. Sometimes writing down a pro and cons list can help identify and help with decision making.

Other times physical distance, like going out for a walk when you really want to fight, can help clear your head.

But these are things you need to work on in therapy. Identifying triggers and creating a healthy response to them.

Look into Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. It outlines some tools that will help you with this type of thing. The program completely changed my life.
I can't even express how helpful this was. Wow. I struggle with OCD thoughts on top of BPD, so your comment about the two being similar is extremely, extremely accurate. As for BPD, I currently am in DBT therapy, but there is so much theory and exercise to do that I often get overwhelmed and get lazy with it so I haven't found it that helpful yet *it's my fault because I haven't been putting my 100% into it.* However, you providing me with specific exercises to do with my particular problem has really kicked my butt and motivated me actually doing my DBT work twice a week. Thank you so much for making me feel understood, validating my self-sabotaging struggle, and for providing a concrete solution to my problem. It's heavy on my mind to always feel like I have no "excuse" for self-sabotaging and it's always nice to hear someone say "hey, actually, you have a specific personality disorder and it's common for people like you to act this way; it's not 100% your fault."
 
M

MYTIMEHASCOME

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
710
This helped A LOT with making me feel understood. I can't help but stress how amazing it feels to know I'm not crazy for being this way and to know others also struggle with having expectations that are too high for others and themselves. Thank you so much for your help, you made my day. I hope both of us learn to manage our expectations and find a middle ground between knowing what behaviors we cannot accept from others when it is clearly negative but also what behaviors are unrealistic for our loved ones to constantly have.
you’re defo not alone! and at least you’re recognising there’s a issue and trying to fix it, hope you can sort it with your boyfriend! or at least find a solution where you’re both happy - nice to meet you! Hopefully see you around on the forum 🤗🌈❤
 
G

Girl interupted

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Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
2,179
This will help your bf with the winter blahs


10 to 20 minutes every morning and will help with mood, energy levels and sleep at night.

I use mine as I'm answering emails from work each morning.
 
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